/Quite disgusted: Lavish prison wedding prompts Queensland Government crackdown

Quite disgusted: Lavish prison wedding prompts Queensland Government crackdown

Updated

May 10, 2019 19:46:10

The wedding of a prison inmate held inside Palen Creek prison farm has earned the condemnation of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said the Government would ensure such proceedings were banned in future.

Key points:

  • Queensland Corrective Services says 36 people attended the prison wedding
  • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is demanding Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan takes action
  • Mr Ryan says he is appalled and “these types of events” will be banned

The wedding took place yesterday at the low-security jail in the Scenic Rim.

The ABC understands the inmate permitted to hold a “lavish” wedding is convicted drug trafficker Terrence John Thornbury.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was “quite disgusted” when she heard about the wedding and demanded Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan take action.

“I don’t think prisons are the place to have weddings, lavish weddings,” the Premier said.

“It was my understanding, [the decision to allow it] was made by a junior manager at the prison.

“It shouldn’t have happened, it’s not going to happen again, the Minister’s given me an assurance.”

Prison weddings are not illegal, but Mr Ryan said he was appalled.

“It should never have happened and it will never happen again,” he said.

“These types of events will be banned.”

“There will be a thorough investigation and the (Corrective Services) Commissioner will take appropriate action.”

‘Investigation launched’

A Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) spokesperson confirmed the wedding was attended by 36 guests, who arrived from outside the prison.

“This is the first wedding in a QCS facility since Commissioner Peter Martin joined QCS, and he has taken immediate steps to review the policy around decision-making,” the spokesperson said.

“Commencing immediately, the decision to allow weddings in prisons has been elevated to Deputy Commissioner level, with the Commissioner having right of review.

“Under the existing policy, decisions to allow prison weddings were made at general manager level.

“An investigation has been launched into yesterday’s wedding, and a more comprehensive review of the policies is being undertaken to ensure that our officers clearly understand both the policy and broader implications around decisions of this nature to ensure no further events like this occur.”

‘Victims of crime would be offended’

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said prisons were no place for extravagant weddings.

“This is totally inappropriate and this absolutely makes a mockery of our justice system,” he said.

“You might think that it’s okay for prisoners to have a wedding, and in that case I would think what would be appropriate is a very modest wedding.

“This seems to be something that’s totally inappropriate and I think people who are victims of crime would feel pretty offended by it all.

“This person is a serious offender … people expect that when you’re convicted of a crime of such a serious nature that there are penalties involved, that there are privileges that are taken away from you because of that.”

Topics:

prisons-and-punishment,

state-parliament,

government-and-politics,

marriage,

palen-creek-4287,

brisbane-4000,

qld

First posted

May 10, 2019 18:27:08